Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Decadence, nervous energy, and Peruvian food

I had a really excellent birthday yesterday. I set my alarm for 6:30, so I would be wide awake for my brother to call from Germany. He tends to call me somewhere in the 7 a.m. hour, so I wanted to sound semi-alert. Sure enough, 7:15, he's on the line. Apparently, he sent me a box a while ago, but it still hasn't arrived. He made some comment about hoping it wouldn't be moldy when it arrives. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

My oldest sister called an hour later from her cell phone, which kept breaking up. I got every fifth word or so before finally just giving in the static. She sang, which was pretty hilarious, since all I heard was HA-- RTH-- OO-- OO. Hey, it's the thought that counts, not the mobile performance.

But the thing that grabbed me most was the Hallmark e-card I got from the Sasquatch's mom. I know that, if my mom were still here, hers would have been the first call of the day, with her off-kilter warbling of "Happy Birthday" and a query if I'd received her check for $40. (Grown up kids just got a check in a dollar amount matching their years on the planet.) But that was not to be. Instead, I got a sweet card from MomSquatch. And I cried. (And I'm crying again now, big wuss that I am.)

Back in 1968, MomSquatch really wanted a "SLOW CHILDREN PLAYING" sign for their Omaha neighborhood, but the city council gave her this instead.

Once I got my act back together, I opened the parcel that had arrived the night before. I am delighted to say that the fabulous Mr. and Mrs. Atomic Editor (aka the Atomic Couple) sent me the whole DVD set of the brilliant old UK sci-fi series UFO. UFO kicks ass. I watched the show with my mother back in the day, and I haven't seen it in three decades. The Atomic Couple rock.

The Alasko-American, knowing my particular caffeine kink, got me a gift card from Mayorga Coffee, so I can keep mainlining Cafe Cubano. God bless those who support our legal addictions. My sister, Nurse Rachet, is very jealous. No good Cafe Cubano in West Chicken Farm, Illinois. I remind her of this on a regular basis. (I am cruel.)

Most of the day was spent waiting and hoping for a phone call about The Anticipated Job. No such luck, but another of my references was called late in the day. This is a Good Thing. A Very Good Thing. (And here's hoping for news today.)

I think my favorite e-card of the day had to be the one from Gonzomantis. It featured two frogs, one playing a banjo, the other playing guitar. The one playing guitar immediately loses the pick inside the guitar. This made me roar with laughter, as I have hideous eye-hand coordination, and, if a guitar is placed in my hands, I will have the pick bouncing around inside that damn thing in mere seconds. Good call, Gonzo, my boy.

The best part of the day was dinner with the Sasquatch. He gave me the new Depeche Mode cd (very cool) and we ended up going to a Peruvian place in Rockville called Inka's Empire. It looks utterly tacky from the outside, complete with seizure-inducing, blinking lights on a plastic-plant-covered trellis and a poster for some bedroom-eyed singer named Valentino. But, once you got past that (and the mirrored walls inside, and the strangely framed Peruvian masks on one wall, next to the big American flag), the food was pretty damn good. We split an appetizer that looked like a football - it was mashed potato, filled with ground beef, funky cheese, and olives. (Well, olive, singular, actually.) Pretty damn tasty. We both had lomo saltado for our entree. Lomo saltado is Peruvian for "mighty tasty beef dish", I do believe. (And I'm waiting for the phone to ring and the Sasquatch to call me a moron for having written that last sentence. I wait with much amusement. Make the Spanish speaker's teeth grind, heh heh heh...)

The evening was wrapped up with a trek to Tower Records, aka "the only show in town after 10 p.m. on a Tuesday." I picked up a copy of the horribly expensive drool-fest magazine American Bungalow (a girl may be broke, but she can still dream, eh?) and the surprisingly good new Echo & the Bunnymen cd, Siberia. (They may have sucked rocks in recent performances in the U.S., but the cd is solid, old school Echo.)

While wandering the aisles, I was stopped dead in my tracks by the sight of a new Pet Shop Boys cd. I'm usually on top of such things, but, frankly, I've been out of touch recently. What can I say? Turns out, the boys have written a score for Sergei Eisenstein's 1925 film "Battleship Potemkin." I'll be damned. I gave it a listen, and, frankly, it was pretty good. It was an import only, and quite pricey (like everything at Tower), so I didn't pick it up. When I'm re-employed, I may have to buy that sucker. I have a copy of "Potemkin", and I'd get a real kick out of watching it with the Boys playing in the background. Until then, I'll just listen to my old Boys cds. Left to my own devices, I probably would...

Yeah, it was a pretty good day. Nice way to start a fresh decade.


Washington Cube said...

Sounds like a full and happy day.

Spencer said...

Excellent day. Happy birthday! ( a little late - sorry)